Traveling the icy winter roads with kids in tow can be frightening. What if something happens and you’re stranded? Sliding into a ditch, having an accident or experiencing a break down are all very real winter driving possibilities. You may be thinking about putting together a winter emergency kit for your car, but are there any special items you should include if you have kids? Besides the oft listed shovel, flashlight, emergency cell phone and jumper cables here are some things to include in your winter car emergency kit for kids.
If you regularly travel with an infant in tow, your winter car emergency kit for kids should include diapers, single serve powdered infant formula (unless the baby is breast fed), water to mix with the formula, extra bottles, baby food and spoons, baby wipes, ointment and extra clothing.
Keep Them Fed
Nonperishable, kid-friendly snacks are a must have in any winter car emergency kit for kids. There is no better distraction for kids than eating and if you are stranded for a long period of time, eating is a necessity. Food for your car emergency kit for kids should be quick and easy to eat, non-messy and require minimum cleanup. I like to include individually packaged snacks in my kit because they are more convenient and allow me to use just what I need while keeping the rest of my food fresh for later use. Make sure the food you include in your kit will not be destroyed by the cold. Pretzels, goldfish crackers, granola bars, protein bars, dried fruits, nuts, candies and lollipops are all good snack choices. You may also want to stock some more substantial food choices in your winter car emergency kit for kids such as small cans of chicken or tuna, beef jerky or packs of peanut butter sandwich crackers. Include something with sugar for a quick energy boost. Make sure you rotate the food in your emergency kit every month to make sure the food is still safe to use.
Keep Them Hydrated
A good rule of thumb is to keep one water bottle for each person in your family in your winter car emergency kit. Remember, if you have an infant who uses formula, you may need extra water for them.
Prepare for Any Emergency with Sealable Plastic Bags
Gallon sized sealable plastic bags are a must for any winter car emergency kit for kids. These wonder bags have a million uses from housing dirty diapers and soiled clothing to serving as an impromptu barf bag.
Keep Kids Occupied
Kid-friendly games, activities and music are a great addition to any winter car emergency kit for kids. Stocking travel sized versions of your child’s favorite games, decks of cards, pads of paper and pencils, crossword puzzles, crayons, books and small toys can all help kids while away the time and avoid meltdowns and tantrums while waiting for help to arrive. Books on tape, music CDs and DVDs can also help keep kids calm.
Keep Them Warm and Dry
It can get cold waiting for help to reach you, especially on a snowy winter night when your car isn’t working. Stock your winter car emergency kit for kids with items to keep your little ones toasty warm. You should have one blanket on hand for each family member. You can save space by using silver emergency blankets. Other items to include are a hat that fits over the ears, extra socks, clothing and mittens for each person.
Keep Them Healthy
Including a first aid kit in your car emergency kit for kids is a must.
Keep Them Clean
Kids can get messy and dirty even when strapped into a car seat for hours on end. Baby wipes and hand sanitizer can help with the constant clean ups kids need. Also include a few bath towels. You never know when you may have to deal with a bloody nose, a spill or sticky hands.